Indonesian Maid Jailed 20 Years for Killing Disabled Girl
Selina Lum – Straits Times
Within two weeks of starting work, a 16-year-old Indonesian maid harbored thoughts of poisoning her male employer, whom she resented for reprimanding her.
Nurhayati later ditched the plan.
Two weeks later, she decided to kill Lee Kai Yam’s 12-year-old physically and mentally disabled daughter — his only child — so he would feel her suffering.
On the morning of Nov 24, 2010, after he had left for work and while his wife was sleeping, Nurhayati carried Linda Lee Yee Lin to the 16th floor of their block of flats in Hougang and pushed her over the parapet wall.
Yesterday, Nurhayati, now 18, was jailed for 20 years after she pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of culpable homicide.
Since birth, Linda had been stricken with scoliosis, a curving of the spine that caused her to suffer poor mobility, an inability to talk properly and other deficiencies. Before Linda, Lee and his wife Tan Pey Shya had had another child who died of an illness.
The court heard that Nurhayati started working for the family on Oct 27, 2010. At the time, she was thought to be 24 as she had lied about her age to work here.
She found it difficult to work for Lee, who was particular about cleanliness and had scolded her about work.
One or two weeks into her job, Nurhayati hit on the idea of mixing his coffee with insecticide. She got the poison from another Indonesian maid and added it to his coffee. But she later abandoned her plan.
On the fateful day, barely a month into her job, Nurhayati woke up late. She apologized to Lee for oversleeping. He did not scold her and left for work.
As she was doing the laundry, she thought of killing Linda to avenge her suffering. She carried the girl out of the flat and took the lift to the ground floor, but did not know how to kill her, so she went up to the 16th floor.
As the maid stood at a secluded spot, wondering how to kill Linda, the girl held onto the railing above the parapet wall. Nurhayati extended Linda’s body over the wall and gave her a shove.
Back at the flat, the maid worked out a plan — Linda had been kidnapped by two men — to deflect blame from herself. To make her story more believable, she lay naked on her mattress. Her story would be that the abductors had rendered her unconscious before taking Linda.
Madam Tan found her when she came in to check on Linda. She rushed out to look for her daughter and found the main gate ajar. Earlier, a taxi driver who saw a body at the foot of the block had called the police.
Questioned by the police, Nurhayati told the story about the two kidnappers. When she was advised to tell the truth, she gave a second version, of how a woman had thrown Linda down and told her to concoct the story.
The maid eventually confessed to killing Linda. The police later recovered her notebook, in which she wrote in Bahasa Indonesia about her situation. She said in one note: “I have no family and relatives here to whom I can seek help… I wanted to run, I could not even stand, how to run?”
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Chan asked for Nurhayati to be jailed for close to 20 years, for venting her anger on an innocent and helpless child out of spite, and then covering up her crime with no hint of remorse.
Nurhayati’s lawyer, Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed, argued that she was not given training to care for a child with special needs. He said Nurhayati’s mother, Madam Darmen Kapil, who was in court, wanted to seek forgiveness from Linda’s parents.
Madam Darmen later told reporters that her daughter had asked her to do so when she previously visited her in prison.
Also in court was lawyer Chia Boon Teck, who said he was retained by Lee to look into the possibility of starting legal action against the maid agency.
Reprinted courtesy of The Straits Times